The writer’s toolbox: grammar

A random thought that has occurred to me as I’ve done a number of critiques in the last few months:

A lot of people say that grammar doesn’t matter because the editor fixes that anyway.


The voice of your book is shown in how the narrator uses grammar. Oh, a typo here or there isn’t going to make a difference–yes, copyeditors catch that.

But if there are so many spelling errors and comma splices and syntax errors that it’s impossible to make out just what the meaning of a sentence (or paragraph) is, you’re undermining the story you’re trying to communicate. Writing is all about communication, and to communicate well, grammar plays a vital role. It seems pretty basic to me that if you want to tell a story well, you need to know how to construct a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, etc.

Just thought I’d throw that out there as something to think about. Grammar is part of your toolbox. Use it.

3 thoughts on “The writer’s toolbox: grammar

  1. I agree although I must admit you are giving me a critique so I hope mine was not all that bad! I do think writers should allow their work to be seen by someone they trust, even though they may not catch everything, it will help it in the long run. Not to mention typos from slang typing, I have read so many friends works and have saw the “u” for you.

  2. When I post about things like this, it’s because I see a trend. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. But if you feel like you could benefit from learning to use better grammar, it’s always a good thing.

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